211 phone service to launch in Merced

Residents in Merced and Mariposa counties will have access to a database of human service resources by simply dialing 211. The program is scheduled to launch in October. Assistance through 211 will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and in 150 languages.


Ex-etiquette: Kid-friendly tips for divorced parents over the holidays

Q: I read your column every week and my ex and I do pretty well co-parenting the kids. I try to follow the rules you suggest because they are logical and are kid focused. It seems you advocate spending the holidays together. We never have and I'm not so sure I want to. The kids have accepted alternating years. So are we failing miserably because we alternate Thanksgiving, odd with me, even with their father? What's good ex-etiquette?


Ask Mr. Dad: What price raising a material girl?

Dear Mr. Dad: My 12-year old daughter has become obsessed with designer labels. Basic Levis and generic shoes aren't good enough anymore. And if I so much as mention the word "Walmart," she won't even speak to me. What is going on with her? I find her materialism revolting. Is there anything I can do to stop it?


Ana Veciana-Suarez: Those who share themselves give a true gift

"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

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